- Writing to argue is when you try to convince someone to do something.
- You could be trying to promote your own point of view.
- You can use many of the language features for writing to persuade.
- The difference between persuading and arguing is that you provide the opposing argument and suggest why it is incorrect.
These are some of the things we should include in our persuasive writing:
1) Emotive Language:
Emotive Language is very effective. It is language that makes us feel something, for example sad or happy.
What is the difference between:
The word ‘house’ gives us a picture simply of a building made of bricks and mortar, but the word ‘home’ creates an image of a place of security, comfort, family and love.
Emotive vocabulary is very persuasive as it plays on the audience’s emotions.Day after day, in temperatures of up to 128F, weary little donkeys are suffering and collapsing for want of a drink. Weighed down by back-breaking loads, exhausted by the heat and often in agony, the little brick kiln donkeys keep trudging patiently onwards.
What is the basic message of the text?
The donkeys that carry loads in Pakistan’s kilns are often thirsty
Highlight the words that make you feel something for the donkeys. What effect do these words have on you?
They make us feel sorry for the donkeys; filling us with empathy. You feel as though you want to do something to help, which makes the emotive language persuasive.
2) Repetition and list of 3
Don’t ever do that again!
Don’t ever, ever, ever do that again!
What effect does repeating the word ‘ever’ have on the audience?
Repeating a word or phrase, especially three times emphasises and reinforces the point being made, which makes it persuasive. You can repeat an adjective, phrase or structure up to three times.
In the poem ‘The Eagle’, the poet describes the bird in the following way:
He clasps the crag with crooked hands
Alliteration is a repeated consonant sound, which can be used to create rhythm or sound effects.
What effect does repeating a sound have on the audience?
In this example, the repeated hard ‘c’ sound creates a mental image of the eagle’s tough, gnarled claws and the scratchy sound they make against rock. This is persuasive because it grabs the audience’s attention.
4) Rhetorical Questions
Rhetorical questions are questions which do not really need an answer. Examples include:
Who do you think you are?
What time of night do you call this?
Rhetorical questions force the reader to think about a possible or obvious answer. Other examples include:
How would you feel if your child was run over by a drunk driver?
How can we stand by and watch these people starve?
Can you think of another example?
5) Pronoun usage
1) Find the difference between:
You must do a good deed and donate money to the charity
Donating to the charity is a good deed.
2) Find the difference between:
You can’t help but be moved by these images of suffering
We can’t help but be moved by these images of suffering
Pronouns can be used as ‘Team Building vocabulary’ and aim to draw the audience in and make them feel involved in the issues. The audience is now part of the discussion, not an outsider. The feeling of inclusion persuades the audience the other person is on their side.
Use some of these phrases to help you organise your ideas and write a convincing argument:
- To introduce your ideas/arguments. You need clear arguments for your point of view. Remember to plan these prior to writing. Use the following phrases to help you:
I firmly believe….
In my opinion…..
I strongly believe….
Everyone must agree that……
2) To reinforce/ add to your ideas. It is important to expand and develop your ideas. Remember to use the following phrases:
In addition I think…….
Moreover you could argue that..
A further point is that……..
Current research shows….
3) Connectives to help organise points logically. Structuring your ideas clearly is really important. These phrases might help:
4) To introduce opponents’ views. In writing to argue, you should aim to provide the counter argument. This recognises the other viewpoint. These phrases help:
However, others may argue that..
Some people believe that…….
It could be argued that……..
On the other hand,…….
In contrast, some people think……
5) To counteract opponents’ views. Once you have mentioned the counter argument, you must state why you believe it is incorrect. These words might help:
However, I would argue that…..
It has been proved that…….
I still think that……..
It is still my view that……
In spite of….. I still feel…..
6) To end your argument. This suggests that you have looked at both sides of the argument. These phrases might help:
Taking everything into account
I firmly believe that………
To conclude, I definitely believe
My overall view remains that……
Look at the following text. Can you find any examples of the language devices within the paragraph?
Other people might believe that recycling is a waste of time and energy. This disgusting and disgraceful viewpoint is selfish and unattractive. Yes, it might take time out of your busy life but what better use of time is there than donating time to save the planet? It is the time of our children’s future that we are saving.
Use the example questions to create your own responses:
- Write a letter arguing that your local government should invest more money into caring for your local community.
- Write a speech arguing that your headteacher should ban uniform.
- Write an email arguing that your local community should complete more activities together.
Remember that you must use persuasive devices. Furthermore, you must use the correct text layout.
- What is the difference between writing to argue and writing to persuade?
- What is the counter argument?
- What is a rhetorical question?